Gardaí seek CCTV footage in probe into Killorglin death

The late Stephen O'Connor
The late Stephen O'Connor

Sinead Kelleher

Up to 30 gardaí are investigating an alleged assault in Killorglin following which a young Glencar man tragically lost his life. The incident occurred in The Square in Killorglin in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victim, Stephen O'Connor, was rushed to University Hospital Kerry before being transferred to Cork University Hospital but tragically Mr O'Connor passed away on Monday. However, in death, Mr O'Connor has helped others by donating his organs, a gesture that his family said was typical of the 32-year-old.

His heartbroken sister, Evelyn, paid tribute to her brother, who she said was "gifted with his hands" and was "kind-hearted and easy-going".

"We are devastated," she said. No funeral arrangements had been made for the deceased at the time of going to print.

Prior to this death, Mr O'Connor, a sheep farmer, was looking forward to lambing season as he was expecting a good year. "He was excited about that," revealed Evelyn. "He was kind-hearted and quiet and easy-going." 

His motto was "life is short - enjoy it," added Evelyn.

Mr O'Connor worked in construction and in farming and was a huge help to his parents, Pat and Kathleen. He also helped out on a neighbouring farm.  He had spent some years in Australia when he was younger. He normally socialised locally in Glencar but was in Killorglin on Saturday night.

Gardaí have launched an investigation into the alleged assault. The scene was forensically examined in the aftermath of the incident. 

A post-mortem was carried out on Tuesday afternoon by Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan, and the results of this will determine the course of the investigation. The investigation team met on Tuesday evening to discuss progress in the case. An incident room has been set up in Killorglin Garda Station - just yards from where the incident took place - and a team of gardaí are in place to undertake a "major investigation" into what occurred on the night. 

"We have an assault which has resulted in a fatality," said Superintendent Flor Murphy. 

CCTV from local businesses in The Square in Killorglin is being "harvested". Community CCTV footage will also be sought and could play a key role in the investigation. Concerns had been raised about the future of the town's CCTV scheme in the past but investigating gardaí will now seek evidence from the local scheme. Dash-cam footage is also being sought, along with any phone recordings which could aid the investigation. Door-to-door enquiries are also being carried out in the town.

The garda team have reviewed their progress daily. No arrests had been made at the time of going to print, but  it is understood that a definite line of enquiry is being followed. Superintendent Murphy renewed an appeal for information on Tuesday and encouraged anyone with information "to do the right thing" and assist gardaí in their investigations.

He said that, to date, there has been a great response from the community and that gardaí are grateful for the assistance. A liaison  officer has also been appointed to assist the family. Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda station on 064 6671160 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.